Saturday Evening Post: Cumbest Tries to Stop Elections

Saturday Evening Post is a recurring feature on SRHS Watch.  This is where we take a walk down memory lane to look at the history of corruption in the state and along the Gulf Coast.

On December 10, 1981, Lum Cumbest petitioned this Court for a temporary injunction restraining and prohibiting the
On June 23, 1981, Mr. Cumbest and Dale Coleman were indicted by the grand jury of Jackson County for fraud in public office in cause number 11,033. Mr. Cumbest was the duly elected and acting supervisor of district number one, and Mr. Coleman was a county employee of that district. Mr. Cumbest was tried and convicted of this crime while in office in November, 1981. 

Following his conviction, the Honorable Arthur B. Clark, acting as special circuit court judge, rendered judgment on November 6, 1981, removing Mr. Cumbest from public office. Following a pre-sentence investigation the circuit court, on December 4, 1981, rendered judgment sentencing both defendants to serve four years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with three years suspended. Mr. Cumbest has duly perfected an appeal from this conviction to this Court, which is now pending. 

On December 8, 1981, the board of supervisors of Jackson County entered an order declaring a vacancy in the office of supervisors’ district number one, and appointed Gavin F. Hamilton to fill the vacancy until a successor was elected in the election designated in said order for January 5, 1982. On December 8, 1981, the board of supervisors, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. 23-5-197 (1972), also entered an order, directed to the Election Commissioners, to hold an election on January 5, 1982, to fill the vacancy. Pursuant to this order the Election Commissioners gave public notice of the special election, as required by law. 

Following these developments Mr. Cumbest petitioned this Court to advance his appeal on our docket, and for a temporary injunction against the Jackson County Election Commissioners prohibiting the holding of the special election on January 5, 1982, or any other election for the remainder of his term pending the appeal of his case.


Read the entire opinion by the Mississippi Supreme Court here.

1 thought on “Saturday Evening Post: Cumbest Tries to Stop Elections”

  1. Has anybody ever wonder why a timber and land baron like Lum Cumbest would fight so hard to keep a $24,000 a year part time job? Must have been reasons beyond the desire to serve the public.Reading the court documents from his indictment,trail and conviction might provide some clues of what really goes on behind closed doors and on the dirt roads of Mississippi counties. Being a county supervisor in the old beat system was a real license to steal and they did,big time.Doing things like directing the first Lake Cumbest that was built at the Ms. power plant is where the real money is made.The Cumbest clan owned much of the land in that lake bottom also. Are we going to see a repeat at the second Lake Cumbest or will the taxpayers rise up and give a knockout punch to the family? Slap,Slap,Slap says one candidate for that District One seat.

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